My favorite experience of the Explore Columbus class was the bus tour of Upper Arlington, Clintonville, Rush Creek, Long Street Cap, and Bexley. I especially enjoyed driving through Rush Creek. I’m very interested in residential architecture and I had no idea that such unique architecture existed so close to where I live. I could see how the architecture was influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs based on his residential designs I’ve experienced like Fallingwater, his home and studio among other homes in Oak Park in Chicago, and the Westcott house in Springfield, Ohio. I loved how the houses flowed with the landscape rather than dominating it; it was refreshing to see such a different take on what is typically a cookie cutter suburban neighborhood. My sister lived in Clintonville for two years so it was interesting learning more about an area that I’ve spent a lot of time in. I drive down N. Broadway a lot and always thought it was a cute street, but it was nice to be able to take some time to really survey the differences between the homes such as size and materiality. I have seen gigantic homes in Powell, but never knew homes of such massive size existed in Bexley. Seeing the president’s home was an unexpected adventure.
My favorite tour for Explore Columbus was the bus tour around the residential areas. We toured Upper Arlington, Clintonville, Rush Creek, Long Street, and Bexley. We saw many houses that were architecturally significant throughout Upper Arlington, Clintonville, Long Street, and Bexley. Several of the houses we saw contained courtyards, allowing the viewer to see through to the other side of the house. On Long Street we toured the ravine. Several of the houses utilized the ravine to hold structure. We went to Bexley to see Franklin Conservatory. While driving, we saw The Ohio State University President’s house, which was very beautiful and breathtaking. Capital University is also located in Bexley. We drove past Capital and were able to see their sports stadium, along with many of the important university buildings. Along the entire tour, Aimee comentated about each house and building along the way. We were able to learn a lot from this bus tour.
My favorite experience for the class was visiting the Discovery District on the two tours we went on. I enjoyed the Discovery District because we got to see many cool sites there. I liked seeing the Columbus College of Art and Design, the Topiary Park, the new addition of the Columbus Museum of Art. I thought the topiary park was a real hidden gem because I have never heard of it before, and it is a very nice park to go and walk around that is close to a lot of things in Columbus, such as the Columbus Museum of Art, and The library. I also enjoyed seeing the houses a long Gay St. I thought that was a cool pocket of town that had very nice landscaping, and the architecture of the homes were beautiful. Also on the 1st Discovery District tour I enjoyed seeing the flatiron building. It was so thin, and I was amazed by how thin a building could actually be. That is why the Discovery District tours were my favorite tours.
My favorite site that we visited this term was the Grange Insurance Audubon Center. The building had a lot of thought put into how it was designed. It was oriented a certain way so that it could utilize passive heating and passive cooling as well so that it would connect with the environment and city at the same time. The building was designed with sustainability very much in mind. The way the water run off is treated was one of the items I found really intriguing. The building has many bioswells that essentially clean the water before it reaches the Scioto River nearby. The designers that about even how water runs off of pavement and installed a medium that is permeable to prevent that dirty, oily run off. The siding used on the side of the building was another sustainable item that really intrigued me. I really enjoy how the cedar changes over time very much like this site’s history has changed over time. Most of all I loved how this building and park could bring a piece of nature into the middle of a large city like Columbus and make it connect so well.
My favorite experience in this class was visiting the Grange Audobon Center for many reasons. I am from Columbus, so while I still learned a lot, many of the sites that we visited I had heard about or visited before. However, I had not yet heard of or visited the Audobon Center. This nature center is a hidden gem nestled in a pocket of the Scioto Audobon Metro Park by the Scioto River and Downtown Columbus. It was designed by DesignGroup, a notable architecture group based in Columbus, Ohio with many impressive local projects such as this. The Audobon Center was only recently opened in 2009, and is a local center for learning about nature for all ages. However, the main aim for this building is introducing urban youth to nature. This beautiful site is also available to rent for special events parties, weddings, meetings, etc. The Audobon Center is also incredible because of its sustainability as it received a LEED gold certification because of its efforts. There are also efforts to help the animals. For example, swales of native plants, porous driveway to stop runoff into the river, and coverings on the windows to protect the birds from flying into them. Overall, this is a beautifully designed, and incredibly thoughtful project. I will definitely go back there in the future!
During the Autumn semester, we visited and toured many different sites. I think my favorite place we toured was the Lazarus building, a LEED Gold Certified Building. We got a tour of the inside and also got to access the non-public rooftop garden. The garden was my favorite part. Not only did it offer amazing views but I was interested in how it worked in the conservation of water. The garden collects the rain water, it filters down to tanks located in the basement, it is then pumped up to the L-Ball
on the roof (it can hold up to 50,000 gallons of water), finally it is used in flush toilets and is used to maintain the garden. The water used to maintain the garden is then put through the cycle again. Not only is the garden used for conserving water but it also insulates the building in the winter and keeps it cool in the summer, lowering energy cost. This was a unique and fun experience. I highly enjoyed this class in learning about Columbus in a nontraditional learning setting.
My favorite experience in the Explore Columbus class was the tour of the Grange Insurance Audubon Center. I enjoyed this tour because the amount of detail and sustainable aspects that went into the design of the building amazed me. Also the wood and recycled steel worked well together and gave the building a nice feel to it. I especially was excited to tour this building because my uncle was offered a job there as director of the metroparks system but instead went to Delaware. I got to talk with him about the building a little bit before the tour and afterwards I was able to show him my pictures and tell him about all the ways the building stays environmentally friendly. The Grange Insurance Audubon Center was a very warm and friendly building that I will try to visit during every season so I can see it in a new way. My favorite room was the library that looks out over the skyline of Columbus.
During this semester, out of all the places we visited, my favorite was the tour of Franklinton. I have an interest in restoration and Franklinton holds a lot of potential to be restored to its former glory. The town holds a lot of history and just by walking down the streets you can catch glimpses of the past and start to understand what went on there years ago. On the tour we visited Strongwater, a new restaurant that opened in an old building that they renovated. Instead of building a new restaurant from ground up they restored and old building adding modern pieces and finishes while keeping the worn exterior.While in Franklinton we also visited the old fire station. This building too has been reused. The last place I took interest in was the Columbus Idea Foundry because it is a place that encourages art and provides a safe place to express creativity for a reasonable price. Franklinton as a whole may look like a crumbling town but underneath the broken up bricks and trampled weeds is a town full of opportunities.
My favorite place we visited was the Lazarus building. I really liked learning the history of the building being a large department store and then eventually converting to what it is today. I think it was really cool how the open middle that was a once a road was covered to create more light to the inner offices. It was interesting how they turned a large old building into a sustainable office building. Not only was there the roof garden that basically took care of itself, but there was also other aspects that made it a sustainable building. There was cork trim around the edges of the walls as well as the water tower on the roof that controlled all the water of the building. My favorite part of the building was being able to go onto the roof garden and seeing exactly how they used rain water in the building. Overall, the Lazarus building was a really interesting building with so many aspects that I would never have known about or ever learned had I not gone on the tour in this class.
My favorite site we visited was the Daniel Burnham arch that reminisces of the old Union Station in Columbus. The Union Station was the train station designed by Daniel Burnham in 1897. However, with the innovation of technology, passenger trains were becoming less useful in the late nineteenth century. Despite outcries of Columbus residents, the train station was demolished. Only this last arch remains, now residing in front of McFerson Commons in the Arena District. It is a reminder of this lost past of the city. Daniel Burnham is my favorite architect, so I appreciate that at least a portion of his beautiful architecture was saved and is put on display. I also loved the Wyandotte Building, which was also designed by Daniel Burnham. I’m very happy that Columbus houses two pieces of architecture by my favorite architect.
My favourite experience from this class was definitely the German Village tour. Having always been interested in the culture, I was excited from the start when we were told we would be exploring this area. The week prior, my scholars group actually visited German Village, where I could check out the area before touring it in class. In class however, I got a wider look at the area than I had beforehand. I found the architecture in the area to be uniquely beautiful, and I especially liked the stone streets because I find them to look more aesthetically pleasing. Out of all the buildings, book loft is my favourite because of their fun approach as a book store as well as their vast selection relating to many different groups of people. Though we didn’t actually get to go inside, the outside is very nice especially with the courtyard entrance. Pistacia Vera comes in second, because their cookies were delicious. The inside is nice as well, with a modern cafe look. It looks out into the street, and also has a quaint sitting area outside. Schiller Park was also appealing, but we didn’t get to explore within and it wasn’t in its prime as summer was over. All-in-all, German Village was my favourite tour because of these individual buildings and my personal bias towards German culture, but I would highly recommend continuing this tour and just exploring the area in one’s own time.
This class has shown me many different sites and has given me some new experiences in the city of Columbus. One that stands out as the most enjoyable would be the Segway Tour.
The Segway tour was a great activity that woke me up on a Monday morning and set my week off to an adventurous start. I had never been on a Segway before and at times struggled. Every once in a while the machine would get stuck and my speed would increase uncontrollably. Never would I have thought I would be scared on a Segway. After a while I did get the hang of it and was rolling around like a pro!
The tour was a great mix up from the usual walking tour and is certainly one of the main reasons I would recommend this class to another student. Overall this class has been one that has made me much more comfortable with the city and has made me feel more at home.
My favorite experience from Explore Columbus class was our tour of the Thomas J Moyer Ohio Judicial Center. I had 0 expectations going into the tour and was instantly shocked as I entered the building. The mosaics on the ceiling as we entered the building were just a hint of the art and sculptures that were integrated within the architecture of the Supreme Court. The book matching of the marble in the main hall way was a brilliant way of the designers pulling the entire building together. Giving the marble a flush look with the exception of the cut lines took an incredible amount of effort and looks great in the grand scheme of the hallway. Also, I really enjoyed seeing inside the courtroom because of the murals and wood work that went into making that room such an enjoyable place which is rather ironic when you think of its uses. Lastly, the views from the library really tied it all together for me. Being able to see the Central High School and new Scioto Mile development that we learned about earlier in the course from almost an aerial perspective was great.
My favourite tour was The Ohio Supreme Court Building. I have seen the building man times prior to taking this class but I never knew what it was. I learned a few weeks into the class that it was the Supreme Court building and that we would be touring it later in the year. I was very excited to be able to take a tour of such a significant building. I had no idea of the rich history of that building until the tour was underway. From far away the exterior seems bland and plain but once you get up close you can see the intricate design of the white marble and the small carvings in the walls. Perhaps my favorite part of the building was in the basement. The basement had a beautiful ribbed vault with an intricate mosaics on the ceiling. The wood work throughout the building was also amazing. All the wood was hand carved with a lot detail in every little piece. There was beautiful hand painted murals all over the building that depicted Ohio’s important history. The building had great views of the city. The best view from the building came from the library looking over the river into Franklington and the old Central High School.
My favorite experience of Explore Columbus was the bus tour. I thought this was a very beneficial tour and great addition to the class. Since most of our tours were downtown, we did not get to see a lot of residential buildings. The bus tour allowed us to see a wide variety of styles of homes. In Upper Arlington we saw homes of many architects, some of whom were apprentices to Frank Lloyd Wright. I really enjoyed seeing John Schooley’s home and the other homes like it. I also thought it was interesting to see how the homes along the ravine adapted to the landscape. One home had an entrance at the ravine as well as on the street above. In contrast to these houses, we visited Bexley, which had very elaborate mansions. We saw the governor’s mansion and the home of the university’s president. Overall, my favorite part of the tour was Rush Creek. Theodore van Fossen designed a neighborhood of very unique houses inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright. I did not expect to find such a unique neighborhood hidden within Columbus.